- BC Games
Connect with Us
Why not consult the real experts for dog bylaw?
Re: Sept. 20 deadline for pitbull regs (NewsLeader, Sept. 13)
I would like to draw further attention to the City of Burnaby's use of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and finance director Denise Jorgenson's report to city council on this topic, and stress that this is an issue for all dog owners in the city. It's not just important to those with "pit bulls," as the current bylaw extends to any dog that has pit bull-like characteristics, whatever those may be.
It has been shown time and again that BSL does not work. Organizations such as the Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animals, the Canadian Kennel Club and the American Humane Association all speak out against use of such legislation.
So why is it that Burnaby is continuing to use such legislation? Does our city council know more about dogs than these organizations?
In support of the city's BSL, Ms. Jorgenson references a U.S. website, www.dogsbite.org as a source of statistics. Having visited this website, I'm appalled its name would even be mentioned in a professional report. It has no scientific foundation, no accreditation or even any professional designations to support its BSL agenda. It is simply one layperson's opinion.
If this is the best source of information Ms. Jorgenson could find in support of Burnaby's current breed specific legislation, then clearly there is no real support for it at all.
In addition, I would also question the city's use of statics. Simply adding numbers of bites up does not provide an adequate picture of the context surrounding these bites. There is no indication as to whether these instances involved police dogs or justifiable bites such as intruders. Quite simply, context matters and yet none is provided. Also take into account the fact that there is no specific "pit bull" breed, so multiple breeds are combined to provide a single statistic, which severely skews the data.
These issues alone render the report to council almost useless.
I urge everyone to take a moment and educate themselves on this issue of breed specific legislation, and the city's proposed amendments to the animal control bylaw.
Just be sure to let Burnaby know our opinion prior to Sept. 20 deadline.
German Shepherd owner